'Irish' Micky Ward (born October 4, 1965) is a retired junior welterweight professional boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts. He is best known for his trilogy of fights with the late Arturo Gatti.
Ward won three New England Golden Gloves titles as an amateur before turning pro in 1985. He was coached by former New England Olympic Champion John Peverada (of Portland Maine). He started off 14-0 in his professional career, but after a stretch of defeats in the early 1990s, Ward hung up the gloves for a period of three years. He returned in 1994 with a vengeance, winning nine straight fights and earning some fights against big name fighters like Gatti.
Ward was known for his devastating left hook to the body and his ability to withstand punishment while waiting to land his trademark shot. A perennial underdog, he has been known to suddenly drop his opponent in the late rounds with a single shot to the body (as he did against Emanuel Augustus, then known as Emanuel Burton).
After a 15-year pro career, the veteran Ward gained widespread fame in his May 18, 2002 fight with Arturo Gatti, broadcast live on HBO. In 2001, Ward's battle with Emanuel Augustus on July 13 had been named the Ring Magazine Fight of the Year, a fight some thought Augustus won, and it served to set up the much-anticipated Ward-Gatti matchup. Ward-Gatti I saw both fighters withstand an amazing amount of punishment through 10 rounds of non-stop action. Ward, who dropped Gatti in the ninth round with a vicious left hook to the body, won the fight by majority decision.
Ward-Gatti I was hailed as the 'Fight of the Century' by boxing fans and writers, and Round 9 of that bout was called 'The Round of the Century' by Emanuel Steward, who co-hosted the fight live on HBO. Ring Magazine named Ward-Gatti I the Fight of the Year for 2002 and round 9 the Round of the Year.
In their rematch, Gatti neutralized Ward's body punching power by boxing and staying low. In the third round, Gatti knocked Ward to the canvas with a thundering overhand right which landed on Ward's ear. Ward sprawled into the turnbuckle and stayed down for the mandatory 8 count. Nobody, especially Gatti (who after the fight called it 'the hardest punch I've ever landed') expected Ward to get up, never mind finish the fight.
Commentators noted that if it had been any other fighter than Ward, the referee would have stopped the fight in the third round. Some feel the fight should have been stopped as Ward took an additional 7 rounds of punishment in a lopsided Gatti victory. Ward and Gatti earned over one million dollars apiece for Ward-Gatti II. Ward and Gatti had a third fight, on June 7, 2003. Despite dropping Gatti in round six, Ward lost by a ten round unanimous decision. Ward-Gatti 3 was named Fight of the Year for 2003 by Ring Magazine, which meant that Ward had earned that honor three times.It later turned out that Gatti had fractured his right hand after a hard punch to Ward's hip, but continued to punch with his right hand. While Ward never won one of the 'Big Four' world titles, he captured both the WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title. He also won the respect and admiration of many fans worldwide at this late stage in his career. Before his final fight with Gatti, Ward had announced his plans to retire
Comes fully certified with Certificate of Authenticity and tamper-evident hologram. Also backed by SportsMemorabilia.com's Authenticity Guarantee
LOADING . . .